Securing Jared

Jared Kushner’s back in the news again. We all know Jared. He’s that handsome young man who married Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter. This latest development turns on the reluctance of wiser heads to grant him security clearance that would grant him access to our nation’s deepest secrets. This privilege would be important to a senior adviser to the president and someone who does business with leaders of foreign nations. That’s what Jared does in his regular day job.

Kushner’s application for such security clearance has been denied. But a man named Carl Kline has overruled the security experts and reversed that decision, granting Kushner his security clearance anyway. Kline directs the White House’s personnel security office. Kline does this a lot, having reversed the judgments of security experts at least 30 times.

Jared, you see, has had a hard time getting security clearance. He’s been trying for two years. Those concerned with keeping us secure have a problem letting Jared have freedom to peek at all of our secrets. They don’t think that would be in America’s best interests. What about Jared gives them pause?

Kushner faced intense scrutiny a year ago over whether he would secure the level of clearance necessary to broker peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. At the time, White House officials waved off those concerns.

What’s Jared’s problem? Like his famous daddy-in-law, Jared also dabbles in real estate, from gleaming, debt-ridden New York City towers to distressed apartment complexes in several states. His reputation in that universe is less than sterling. He doesn’t manage debt too well, for one thing, but he knows how to stick it to his tenants. Maybe that’s why his daddy-in-law keeps him close by as his senior adviser. Likes his style. Jared also has a habit of not paying his taxes, an inconvenient fact that doesn’t enhance his chances for a security clearance. And let’s not forget the strategic gaps in his security application forms. Maybe that’s why wiser folks hesitate to trust him with our secrets.

But Mr. Kline has no problem with this.

Jared deals with leaders of other countries, friend and foe, representing you and me in these important negotiations and discussions. That make you feel secure?

Me neither.


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